Saturday, November 21, 2020

Artists Quarantine With Their Art Collections

By Stephen Maine
Ethel Peterson, “The River Gihon” (1999), oil on canvas, 22 x 28 inches, in situ; also pictured: Soumya Netrabile, “Study for The Garden Keepers” (1996), oil on board, 8 x 10 inches (image courtesy Soumya Netrabile)
The collective trauma that 2020 continues to inflict on us provides ample opportunities to examine how an artwork’s meaning might be inflected by dramatic shifts in the viewer’s circumstances. For this series of articles, I’ve been asking artists the following set of questions: In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, do you look at your personal collection differently now, and which works in particular? Is there one that especially resonates with you in this weird, frightening time? And does it take on new meaning? Soumya Netrabile (Oak Park, Illinois): I bought “The River Gihon” at her first solo show, in 2000. It hangs on our dining room wall, where my family passes by or sits near it several times a day. [More]